Robert Sanchez sends 'I need to play' message as Spain boss Luis Enrique opts for Unai Simon

Albion keeper Rob Sanchez is not the type of character to be content with a place on the bench.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 4:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 4:06 pm
Robert Sanchez trains with the Spain squad ahead of the 0-0 draw against Sweden
Robert Sanchez trains with the Spain squad ahead of the 0-0 draw against Sweden

Sanchez, 23, enjoyed a rapid rise in the Premier League with Brighton this season and 10 clean sheets helped force his way into Luis Enrique Enrique’s Spain squad.

The 6ft 5in stopper was named among the substitutes, alongside Man United’s David de Gea, as Enrique selected Athletic Bilbao’s Unai Simon as his No 1 for Spain’s opening 0-0 draw against Sweden last Monday.

“He’s also not happy now just to be in the squad,” Albion goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts said. “That’s his thing. He said, ‘I want to play, I need to play’. I reiterated the same thing to him, ‘Just be respectful of the other goalkeepers that are there and train as well as you can’.

Sanchez moved to the UK and joined the Albion academy aged 15 and Roberts has played a key role in his development into Graham Potter’s first team.

“He’s everything you look for in a modern goalkeeper. He’s got an unbelievable physical profile, 6ft 5ins, quick, powerful.

“He’s two-footed, calm in possession. He’s got the ability to go beyond the opposition. He’s really, proactive defending his area.

“Technically he’s sound, he’s got lovely hands and is a really good shot-stopper. The only thing he doesn’t have is 150 Premier League appearances so the experience he had this season has been invaluable.”

Roberts also admitted he felt a sense of pride when Sanchez received his call-up for the Euros.

“I was delighted. I had a tear in my eye, to be honest. I knew how much it meant to him and his family, how hard he worked to get there, coming abroad when you’re 15 years old, not speaking the language and all the different challenges in front of him.”